North America’s First Road Safety Digital Billboard Goes up in Surrey
September 07, 2011
Surrey – Just in time for back to school, a unique mobile digital billboard will be set up at two Surrey schools to remind drivers to slow down and drive safe.
The City of Surrey has partnered with Preventable and the BCAA Road Safety Foundation to set up a mobile digital billboard at École Martha Currie Elementary on Thursday and Maple Green Elementary on Friday. The electronic sign will photograph speeding cars and post their photos on the billboard with the message “Before you rush through here, have a word with yourself.”
“Surrey is the largest school district in the province and we have about 70,000 students walking and cycling around their schools each day. It’s very important to ensure they are safe and that drivers are aware of the reduced speed limits,” says City of Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. “As part of our Safe & Active Schools Program, the City of Surrey has been heavily investing in safety around schools, so we’re proud to partner in this initiative to increase awareness and encourage drivers to slow down.” Watts adds the City built new traffic calming projects outside 32 schools this summer, and new sidewalk and road crossing improvements at 14 schools.
This is the first road safety digital billboard of its kind in North America, and the objective is to engage drivers to consider how they drive, particularly around school zones.
“As children head back to school, everyone needs to be reminded of school zones,” says Allan Lamb, President & COO of the BCAA Road Safety Foundation and spokesperson for Preventable (also known as The Community Against Preventable Injuries). “We see a lot of pedestrian-related injuries in September and October with children aged 5 to 14 years at the greatest risk for pedestrian-related fatalities. The key to reducing serious injuries truly is, behaviors and attitudes - with this innovative digital billboard, we’re reminding drivers to have a word with yourself and make smart driving decisions.”
Statistics have shown that during the first week of school, two children in British Columbia will die as a result of injury. The most frequently reported child pedestrian activity that results in injury or death is crossing at an intersection followed by running onto the road.
Through the Safe & Active Schools Program, the City has been investing in school safety improvements. Over the past three years, a consultant visited all 120 public schools to analyse safety, including the pick-up and drop-off areas. This year, the consultant will visit the 25 independent schools in Surrey.
In 2009, the City started the School Travel Plan to work directly with public schools to increase the number of students cycling and walking to school, and to make those routes safer. The City works with up to four schools every year to assess what can be done, and to develop a School Travel Plan.
Road Safety Facts:
The key to reducing serious injuries is attitude and behavior
Injuries are the number one cause of death and disability among children and youth in Canada
Children aged 10 to 14 years have the highest incidence of pedestrian-related injuries, but a larger age range of children (5 to 14 years) are at the greatest risk for pedestrian-related fatalities
The majority of child pedestrian injuries and deaths occur in urban areas, however, when a pedestrian is hit on a rural road, the result is more likely to be fatal because of higher vehicle speeds
The simple presence of parents or caregivers can help reduce the risk of injury
Source: SafeKids Canada
For more information on Surrey’s Safe & Active Schools Program, visit www.surrey.ca/transportation
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Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor